In May, I released a long sigh of frustration over “feminist” fights against “sexist” dress code policies which prevent girls from showing their black bra straps at school. I should also note that dramatic eye rolling accompanied the sighing. I’m not going to re-hash how much of the “feminist” debate over dress codes is rather ridiculous. There’s a good article by Trent Horn which examines the fallacies involved in the “dress code debates.” I’ll let Horn do the talking.
Rather than telling society that women need to kill their children in order to be equal, or arguing that high school girls must be allowed to show their bra straps in order to experience equality, perhaps as feminists we could chose to fight other battles. And perhaps we could teach our daughters, those who are organizing rallies and talking to the press about their ‘right’ to wear short shorts at school, about real human rights violations and sexism being experienced by women. We could help them focus their energies on calling for change that would save women’s lives and protect them from abuse. What a thought.
The following articles raise practices or trends that feminists could call out, and encourage others to join their fight. Some feminists are already raising their voices in support of women and girls affected by the atrocities and practices mentioned in the articles below. I hope that those women fighting for the right to wear short shorts in Western high schools feel compelled to refocus their energies.
These three stories were published in the last few days:
Child marriages draw scrutiny from Ottawa: “The most recent report by New York-based Human Rights Watch interviewed 135 girls and women across Tanzania and concluded that the practice of forced marriage – involving girls as young as seven in some cases – was causing serious harm because of gaps in the country’s child protection system.”
Fighting Female Genital Mutilation: “Egyptian government figures put the rate of female genital mutilation among women ages 15 to 49 at 91 percent. Among teenagers 15 to 17, it is 74 percent.”
Winnipeg conference to examine ‘pornification’ of kids: “The message to girls is that the way to show they’re liberated is to just take it. Whether someone feels any pleasure is irrelevant in a pornified context.”
These stories make the black bra strap fights look rather silly, don’t they?by